Make Passing Out Supplies a Breeze With This Simple Tip

As we approach the beginning of the school year, you may be thinking about how to pass out supplies in your room this year. Perhaps you have a tried and true method that works well, or maybe you’re looking for something new. In this video, I’ll tell you about a hybrid method of passing out supplies that has worked wonders for me.


Tell  us, how do you pass out supplies in your art room? 

How does it look at different grade levels?

5 years ago

Amanda Heyn

Learning Team

Amanda is the Senior Editor at AOE. She has a background in teaching elementary art and enjoys working to bring the best ideas from the world of art ed to the magazine each day. 


  • Alex Hamilton Green

    Thank you for the creative and practical tips for materials management. It would be great to have some of these ideas edited art-on-the-cart teachers.

    • If you had room on your cart, you could always do a mini version of these tubs to place around the room. A taller, narrower container might work well. A large plastic cup could hold pencils, erasers and a few pairs of scissors! Or, perhaps students could pull these types of supplies from their own desks when needed.

      • Sheila Kopaskam

        As a traveling middle school art teacher, I use table caddies, but I put out supplies for the current lesson only. These mainly hold scissors, glue, spare pencils, and other tools. I have a pencil box for each table for all of the media we use a lot: 7 labeled pencil boxes (or coffee canisters) of markers, seven of colored pencils, and seven table caddies of small squeeze bottles of tempera paint colors. Rulers and scissors are in accessible places, and supplies we seldom use like crayons and sharpies are put in the table bins while the project is going. There is a designated place for the table supplies if back-to-back classes are using different supplies. (labeled spots on a counter). If I leave out things like scissors and glue, inevitably I get broken scissors or punctured glue bottles.

  • Kathleen

    I had table tubs but found they were a distraction for busy fingers during instruction so a repurposed some student desk and lowered them to fit under the front of the table and added a paper box lid like a drawer dressed up with laminated paper to match table numbers. Now they have the supplies under the table but can’t easily get them til I say go.

  • Lynn Goff

    I also have table caddies containing the essentials for each table. Additionally, I have the tables Numbered 1-7 using a different primary or secondary color for each table. I have two sets of 7 tote trays that sit on colored and numbered place mats that hold the days supplies and work that is in progress. This way I can set up for two classes that are back to back. A table captain gets up to retrieve the tote tray and returns it at the end of the class. Each table has a colored crayon stenciled on each corner so that we can designate table captains and other chores by crayon colors. I have even gone so far as to paint table colors on the drying rack so the students sitting at the red table place their work on a red shelf in the drying rack. It has helped for those who forget to write their name on their work and it speeds up storing their work.

  • Pingback: How to Use Everyday Items to Distribute Supplies | The Art of Ed()

  • Denise P

    Hi I use empty (clean) berry plastic containers for supplies (crayons, scissors etc) and label them by table. (recycle lesson) They have lids but do fit inside each other if you take the lids off. Each container holds enough for 6-8 children per group. Their free and students love bringing them in. When they get overused I just recycle.